Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bentley, Milloy Clarify Legislative Record on Release of Gas Plant Documents

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bentley, Milloy Clarify Legislative Record on Release of Gas Plant Documents

Article excerpt

Ministers clarify record on gas plant docs

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TORONTO - Premier Dalton McGuinty and senior Liberal cabinet ministers "lied" to the legislature when they repeatedly said all documents on cancelled power stations in Oakville and Mississauga had been released last month, PC Leader Tim Hudak charged Monday.

"We've had now several occasions where they have actually lied to MPPs," Hudak told reporters at a news conference.

"We commonly don't use that kind of language in the legislature, but I don't know what else to call it."

Another 20,000 pages on the cancelled energy projects were released late Friday, weeks after McGuinty and his cabinet ministers kept insisting all relevant documents were released last month, as required by a Speaker's ruling.

"It's apparent that for weeks the government knew that the documents hadn't been released, and so it's obvious that they were keeping information, yet again, from the people of Ontario and from the legislature," said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.

"The most important thing here is to acknowledge the premier had a role here, and he's refusing to take responsibility for it."

Energy Minister Chris Bentley and government house leader John Milloy both rose before question period Monday to correct the legislative record, and insisted "there was no deliberate attempt" to provide incorrect information to the legislature.

"Any incorrect information provided to this House was provided inadvertently and unintentionally," said Bentley. "I'm very disappointed that the error was made."

Both the Conservatives and New Democrats asked why McGuinty wasn't making a statement to correct his own record in the legislature.

During question period, McGuinty said he and his government had been given wrong information by bureaucrats, who "in all good faith" thought they had turned over all documents on the gas plants last month.

"Officials, and only officials, were involved in the selection of documents to meet the committee request," McGuinty told the legislature.

Despite being advised Sept. 27 that officials at the Ontario Power Authority and the Ministry of Energy were conducting a second search for documents, McGuinty, Bentley and Milloy continued to say for weeks that all documents had been released Sept. …

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